Best Big 12 Football Bets for Week 1

NCAA Football: Houston at Texas Tech

Hi everyone! Week 1 is here! I’ll be here every week with my top few plays in the Big 12. Keep in mind with Week 1 games, these lines have been up for weeks, even months so these are the bets I like as of Thursday, August 31 at around 1:00 p.m. CT.

UTSA at Houston

Saturday, September 2nd at 6:00 pm CT

UTSA -1.5, Total: 60 (Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)

Both of these Texas schools are entering a new era. As we know the Cougars enter the Big 12 off of a brutal 2023 season. Dana Holgerson has been completely underwhelming in his tenure thus far with the Cougs. This is a pretty brutal non-conference draw for Houston even with having the game at home. The Roadrunners are my pick to win the American even with it being a slight step up from the old C-USA which is basically the new American. Frank Wilson had a great 2022 and if he were at a bigger program, he could have some Heisman aspirations (300/1 to win Heisman at DraftKings). The Roadrunners are very well coached and with Wilson at the helm of the offense they should be able to exploit a Houston defense that appears to be one of the worst in the Big 12. Last year these teams played a wild game to open the season and Houston survived at the Alamodome in Triple OT 37-35. UTSA wins a high-scoring affair on the road and the Cougars start their Big 12 tenure with a thud.

PICK: UTSA Moneyline -122 (Available at DraftKings Sportsbook)


Texas Tech at Wyoming

Saturday, September 2nd at 7:30 p.m. CT

Texas Tech -14, Total: 50.5 (Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)

What a fun first year it was for Joey McGuire in Lubbock. They defied expectations, as Texas Tech made and won the Texas Bowl. I fully expect the Red Raiders to be in contention to make it to Arlington but this a brutal spot to begin the season. Craig Bohl has made Wyoming into a consistent bowl team and playing at the highest elevation (7,165 feet) in College Football will present an issue for the Red Raiders. The last time a Power Five went to Laramie in 2019, Mizzou lost outright as a 15.5 favorite to the Cowboys. Looking at this year’s Wyoming team, their offense should be improved upon their barely Top 120 output of a year ago, but the defense is one of the best, if not the best, defense in the Mountain West. Now, I don’t expect Texas Tech to lose outright but it would not shock if the Red Raiders offense led by Tyler Shough has some struggles and this game is a tougher-than-expected trip to Wyoming. If McGuire’s squad handles everything in their path and wins big, it could be a special year for Texas Tech but I like Wyoming to play this game within two touchdowns.

PICK: Wyoming +14


Colorado at TCU

Saturday, September 2nd at 12:00 p.m. CT

TCU -20.5, Total: 63.5

As I wrote in my Top 5 season-long bets column earlier this week, the Horned Frogs are due for regression in 2023 but the regression isn’t coming in Week 1, even with having to replace Max Duggan with Chandler Morris, and the Frogs’ two best skill position players from last season. TCU had less turnover than the Buffs. Coach Prime will build out the Colorado program but I don’t see how the Buffs will be competitive in his first year. Colorado was the worst team in the Pac 12 a year ago and even with the roster turnover, I still have them as a bottom 2 team in that league. Last year TCU won comfortably in Boulder even with a slow start and I expect the Horned Frogs to beat up on Colorado again in Fort Worth. Lay the lumber, TCU wins by at least three touchdowns.

Pick: TCU -20.5


Since it is Week 1, here are a few non-Big 12 games that I also like:

Louisiana Tech +20 at SMU

Boise State +14.5 at Washington

UL Monroe +9.5 v Army

Be on the lookout for the first episode of Big 12 Bets coming on Friday.

Good luck and let’s enjoy that College Football is back!

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